The Supreme Court can Stop Election Chaos by Disqualifying Trump

In a recent statement, I presented a case for utilizing the 14th Amendment to potentially bar former President Trump from running for office. In accordance with Section 3 of the amendment, individuals who have taken an oath to the Constitution are prohibited from holding office if they have “engaged in insurrection.” By inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to hinder Congress’ ratification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, the former president can be said to have engaged in insurrection.

According to constitutional textualists, who form the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, a direct interpretation of the 14th Amendment would suggest that Trump should be kept off the ballot, correct?

There may be differing perspectives on this matter, particularly from experts who possess real-world experience in interpreting and enforcing the law and persuading judges. Op-ed columnist Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, has expressed a strong belief that the Supreme Court will rule against individual states’ efforts to remove Trump from their ballots. However, Litman also points out that each of the potential legal justifications for this decision has significant weaknesses.

The question at hand is whether one considers it more problematic to have a varied outcome by granting states the ability to interpret the 14th Amendment, as Litman argues, or to rely on flawed legal arguments in order to achieve a politically advantageous result. Litman recognizes that the court’s main objective in this case is to uphold the public’s trust in the legitimacy of the electoral process. The justices will need to make a ruling that carefully considers the practical implications, which is an approach that I generally support.

However, the clarity of the language and purpose of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment cannot be dismissed with these arguments. Enforcement is crucial in addressing the practical realities. The framers of the amendment in the 1860s recognized the potential for former office holders to hold positions in the government they had recently fought against in the Civil War.

To address this concern, they established a clear solution. In the year 2024, there is a significant chance that a previous president may regain power, having previously attempted to obstruct Congress from carrying out its duty to validate the electoral vote. The crucial decision at hand is whether we should employ the solution provided to us by the framers of the 14th Amendment.

There is a strong argument that the U.S. Supreme Court should rule unanimously on the disqualification of Trump from office for engaging in insurrection, in order to uphold the law, maintain the public’s perception of its legitimacy, and ensure electoral uniformity.

President Trump’s recent actions towards a federal appeals court may have significant consequences for his political future. Is this the individual that we should be safeguarding from the Constitution’s insurrectionist prohibition? According to Dennis Aftergut, a former federal prosecutor, making threatening statements after a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing could have serious consequences for one’s case. Aftergut believes that attempting to intimidate the judges considering the case could be extremely damaging. If Trump is convicted, recent polls indicate that his chances of returning to the White House will decrease significantly.

The arguments put forth by Trump regarding his immunity are being widely criticized for their lack of credibility and potential harm to democracy. The former president is currently focused on remaining on the ballot and avoiding incarceration. In an effort to sway the judges, he is making the argument that he is protected from legal action for any actions carried out in his capacity as president.

The Times’ editorial board strongly opposes this argument, stating that it is crucial for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reject Trump’s claim. They argue that this decision is not only necessary to ensure that he faces a jury, but also to serve as a deterrent for future presidents from engaging in criminal activities.

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